La Gran Bailadora wins Distaff

Updated: September 24, 2011, 7:48 PM ET
By Marty McGee | Daily Racing Form



FLORENCE, Ky. -- Continuing a phenomenal day for trainer Mike Maker while running another big race over the local Polytrack surface, La Gran Bailadora passed all six of her rivals when going on to a mild upset Saturday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Kentucky Cup Distaff at Turfway Park.

For Maker, the victory was his third in a row in the five-race Kentucky Cup series, and his fifth overall on the 12-race card. He did not have a runner in the first KC race, the Juvenile Fillies, before winning the Juvenile with Hansen and the Sprint with Matthewsburg. He also won two earlier Turfway races, not to mention a sixth win for the stable in the Ontario Derby at Woodbine with Derby Kitten.

"I've won five in a day before, but not all these stakes," Maker said in typical mild-mannered fashion. "Obviously it's been a great day."

Maker had the 2-1 favorite in Baryshnikov for the final Kentucky Cup race, the WinStar, but the horse ran fifth.

La Gran Bailadora, a 4-year-old filly by Afleet Alex, returned $10.40 after finishing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.90. Bred and owned by central Kentucky banker Tracy Farmer, La Gran Bailadora now has won 4 of 6 starts at Turfway, where her only prior stakes victory came in the Likely Exchange in February.

"She just does her best on the synthetics," said Maker.

High Quality led early in the Distaff before being passed on the backstretch by Persuading. In the final turn, Bella Medaglia swept to the lead while La Gran Bailadora and Corey Lanerie looped tiring rivals. By midstretch, Bella Medaglia had a clear lead, but La Gran Bailadora reeled her in, prevailing by a length. Bella Medaglia finished another eight lengths before Kiss Mine.

Upperline, the 11-10 favorite, was never a factor. Jockey Joe Talamo said the filly "never got a hold of the track" when finishing last of seven.